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Great Lakes Article:

Watershed plans should consider local comments
Port Clinton News Herald

As the Lake Erie shoreline and property nearby continues to be developed and to attract more and more visitors, it's important that residents of this area have a voice in the decisions that are made shaping the watershed's future.

These residents have the biggest stake in what happens to the watershed and the best idea of how changes affect the quality of life in the area.

That makes it important that residents and their public representatives voice their opinions on the Balanced Growth Initiative of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

A task force formed in 2001 has been studying land use and water quality in the watershed and the impacts that growth will ultimately have on the lake. The panel was asked to recommend ways that state and local communities could better promote sustainable development. Draft plans developed by the task force are now ready.

Drafts of "Linking Land Use and Lake Erie: A Planning Framework for Achieving Balanced Growth in the Ohio Watershed" and "Best Local Land Use Practices" can be viewed on the OLEC Web site at

The documents also will be presented from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, Huntington Reservation, 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, from 7 to 9 p.m., Feb. 3, at the OLEC Office, 1 Maritime Plaza, Toledo; and 7 to 9 p.m., Feb. 5, in the Blue and Gold Room of the Kent State University Branch Campus, 3325 W. 13th St., Ashtabula.

During those meetings, individuals and groups can submit comments orally or in writing. Comments can also be submitted by e-mail at or by surface mail to the OLEC, 1 Maritime Plaza, Toledo, Ohio 43604. Comments will be accepted through Feb. 18, 2004.

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